This is perhaps the most fun a math and food mash up could get. Pi Day officially celebrates the mathematical constant, but now it's become custom to just make and eat actual pies every March 14th. Our recipe editor, Abbe Lentz, crafted this Cinnamon Chocolate Chess Pie for this most unusual “holiday” and it’s a fantastic fusion of flavors adapted from her great grandmother Lois’s recipe. The original recipe was written down on an index card and passed down through her family. Abbe used that same index card - hand scrawled, stained and worn from decades of use, as the foundation of this recipe. She also took inspiration from Champurrado, a traditional mexican hot chocolate drink made with cinnamon and masa harina. Champurrado is typically made with panela, an unrefined cane sugar from Latin America. We didn’t have access to panela so Abbe used dark brown sugar to replicate its robust sweetness. If you have access to panela we encourage you to use that in this recipe instead of brown sugar. The result is an ultimate comfort to the heart, a blend of warming cinnamon, deep dark chocolate, and cornmeal.
This recipe can be made vegan or non-vegan, as well as gluten-free. We’ve provided options for both. If you make it, we’d love to know what you think. Tag us on Instagram @raakachocolate or send us a reply!
1.5 c All purpose flour or GF 1:1 flour
¼ c Tanzanian Cacao Powder
2 sticks cold butter, cut into small cubes (use plant based butter to veganize)
2 tbsp brown sugar
½ c ice cold water
¼ tsp salt
4 tbsp butter (use plant based butter to veganize)
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 oz Maple Dark Baking Chocolate
1 c dark brown sugar
2 tbsp Tanzanian Cacao Powder
4 tbsp cornmeal
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs (Or Follow Your Heart VeganEgg)
½ c heavy cream/half & half or coconut creamer
1. Preheat oven to 350ºF.
2. Whisk together flour, cacao powder, salt and sugar in a bowl.
3. Cut in cold butter with a pastry cutter, or two forks, until butter is coated and mixes into pea-sized clumps.
4. Slowly add ice water, one tbsp at a time. You will probably use 4-6 tbsp, but each batch is always a little different. We don’t want to add too much water, just enough to bring the dough together. Too much water will make the dough loose and pasty.
5. Form dough into a 1-inch thick disk, wrap in plastic wrap, and refrigerate at least an hour.
6. Once chilled, turn dough onto surface and roll to about ¼ inch thickness. If the dough breaks apart a bit, don’t worry, you can piece it together in the pie plate.
7. Gently move the dough into the pie pan, press into place. You should have extra dough along the edges to mold/crimp into a fun crust.
8. Place parchment over the dough and add pie weights or a small oven safe plate/bowl on top to par-bake for 15 minutes.
9. Remove weights & paper, poke a few holes with a fork in the bottom of the crust, and bake another 5-10 minutes, until the crust starts to look dry.
10. Remove from the oven and let cool at room temperature or in the fridge.
Filling & Pie
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF.
2. In a saucepan, melt butter on low heat and let warm with cinnamon stick for 20 minutes, covered.
3. Add ground cinnamon to butter and let bloom for an additional 10 mins.
4. Take the mixture off heat and stir in baking chocolate and brown sugar, stirring until chocolate is melted.
5. Add cacao powder, cornmeal and salt. Stir to combine and let cool a bit.
6. Whisk in eggs and vanilla, followed by the cream.
7. Pour filling into the pie shell.
8. Gently wrap/cover the crust edges with tin foil so that the edges don’t burn while pie bakes.
9. Bake pie at 400º for 10 minutes.
10. Reduce heat to 350º and bake for another 30 minutes.
11. Rotate pie and bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, until pie seems just set and center doesn’t jiggle loosely.
12. Remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack to cool completely.
13. Dust with cinnamon/cacao powder if desired!
14. Store in the fridge, serve at room temperature.
Have a wonderful Pi Day and a lovely week.